Enterprise Asia recognises Herath’s work and exemplary practices in the local online retail sector with a prestigious regional award to celebrate outstanding entrepreneurship.
As Sri Lanka struggles to continue the economic boom of its immediate post-conflict years, the country is beginning to realize that the state and the big industries alone cannot pull the weight of this growing economy. With this, new recognition is being directed towards entrepreneurs who drive new business ideas, link in new markets with local talent and make significant contribution to the economy through their own work. In fact, the government is even preparing to release its first innovation and start-up policy echoing this keen interest to recognize entrepreneurship in the island. It is in this exciting economic environment that the recent recognition for Sri Lanka’s e-com pioneer Dulith Herath came. The award presented by Enterprise Asia celebrated Herath’s enormous influence upon the local online retail sector by starting Sri Lanka’s first e-com site Kapruka.com. The award also credited his recent work to reinvent the e-com sector through projects like ‘Grasshoppers’ that provide convenient last mile delivery solutions that are essential for pushing the growth of online retail. This marks the second time that Herath was awarded by Enterprise Asia within the last four years, signifying the continuity of his entrepreneurial excellence.
Enterprise Asia is the Asian continent’s leading non-governmental organization for entrepreneurship. It strives to create global economic equality, by encouraging entrepreneurship in Asia as a mean to drive sustainable and progressive socio economic development. Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards have conducted its regional award programmer annually since 2007 to discover and celebrate distinguished entrepreneurs in the region. The award is a highly competitive one and includes on-site reviews and judges’ visits to business locations to grasp unbiased realities of each entrepreneur’s work. Unlike most awards, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award looks to recognize the uniqueness of the businesses instead of the sheer size or volume of work which effectively encourages entrepreneurship and start-ups to strive towards award-winning excellence. For these reasons, the award has become a highly respected and coveted one in the business realm.
Enterprise Asia recognized three key aspects in Dulith Herath’s work with his most recent Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award—successfully benchmarking against best practices, continuing past and current efforts in entrepreneurship and winning public attention that reciprocates the influence of his work. Herath’s first brainchild Kapruka.com was the pioneer in Sri Lanka’s e-commerce sector, introducing the convenience of online retail and its exponential opportunities for business, to the island. The immensely successful Kapruka.com grew with the wave of digital commerce in the past decade and went on to diversify itself to handle all aspects of online retail from logistics to sourcing high-quality products and content. Herath conceptualised Kapruka.com’s most recent major undertaking with ‘Grasshoppers’ last-mile delivery system, in a way that encourages entrepreneurship among other Sri Lankans from across the island, pushing forward the principles of a collaborative economy in a big way. This initiative to share and create opportunities to encourage entrepreneurship among others while setting exemplary practices and thinking as an entrepreneur himself, were particularly admired by Enterprise Asia, and was among the major reasons to recognize Herath’s work for the second time through the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award in 2018.
Over the years, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award has gathered a membership of powerful alumni of over 1200 top business founders and entrepreneurs from the region. This network of business powerhouses now form a strong voice for entrepreneurs, inspiring the younger generations and aspiring young businessmen and women to strive towards greater innovation, fair practices and out-of-the-box thinking. For Sri Lanka, a local business leader being recognized by an international award of this calibre marks the beginnings of a healthy start-up and entrepreneurship culture complete with inspiring icons and personalities at the helm: a very necessary dynamic for the economic growth that Sri Lanka is aiming for in the next five years.